SUPing in the Summertime: the 3rd Wahine SUP Classic
Last April 2 and 3, SUP (stand up paddle) boarders from all around arrived at the shores of Matabungkay Beach Hotel to kick off the summer in the 3rd Wahine SUP Classic. Organized by the Pink Paddle Project and FiliSUP for the benefit of the The CAREWELL (Cancer Resource and Wellness) Community, the race had featured three divisions: kids’, men’s, and women’s.
Race Director Tono Legarda of FiliSUP led each of the races and was impressed with the competitiveness of the SUPers, particularly the women’s division which saw some of the best action. “I actually see this competition as the national women’s SUP race here in the country,” Tono remarked, citing that women had natural attributes for the sport such as grace, good balance, and technical aptitude.
The heat from the sun didn’t deter the SUPers as they took to the cool ocean water in their rash guards and bathing suits. Family and friends watched from the balsas (bamboo rafts) as the racers paddled to get to the lead. The choppy waters, however, made balance more challenging for both the experienced and novice SUPers with the latter opting to paddle from their knees. Some participants would inevitably slip off their boards and splash into the water. But in the spirit of fun and sportsmanship, competitors cheered for one another to make it to the finish line.
After a break from the day’s race, everybody gathered for the evening party and awarding ceremony. SEA Institute, one of the event sponsors, gave an insightful and engaging presentation on marine biodiversity and promoted the conservation investments in the Verde Island Passage of the Philippines. CAREWELL, a non-profit foundation, also took center stage and talked about their advocacy in helping cancer patients by providing support, education, and hope through various initiatives.
Organizer Nicole Sheker de Arellano of Pink Paddle Project, an organization dedicated to creating awareness on breast cancer through SUPing, thanked the athletes, supporters, and sponsors for helping make the event possible.
Tono Legarda wrapped up the evening by announcing the winners of the race as well as special awards of the day. He congratulated everyone for their participation and hoped that more people try SUP boarding since the Philippines has some of the best islands and beaches to tour.
15 and Under
Matabungkay Beach Hotel, FiliSUP, and the Pink Paddle Project would like to thank the following sponsors who have made the event possible: Lenovo, Rustans, Hobie, CWC Corp., Broadwater Marine, C Boutique Hotel, The Picture Company, Havianas, Studio H20, SunBum, Stoked Inc., BICSUP, Beach Hut Sunblock, Red Paddle Co., HOBIE Stand Up Paddleboards, Fool Moon, Fusion, Frabelle Foods, ABS-CBN Sports + Action, Island Buzz Philippines, Soloviento Lake Caliraya, Ocean Suites, Astetik, 25 Mushrooms Kitchen, SEA Institute.
SUP parking spot.
SUPers getting ready to race.
Waiting for the race director's green light.
And off they go!
Choppy waters didn't stop these racers from giving it their all.
SUPing is a total body workout that's fun!
Play hard, party harder!
Dinner by the beach.
Winners of the Women's Open (L-R): Mai Turner (2nd), Philippa Langrish (1st), Lala Lazaro (3rd).
Winners of the Men's Open (L-R): Reuben Lista (2nd), Joey Untalan (3rd), Alfonso RDA (1st)
Winners of the 15 years old and under (L-R): Zoe Lazaro (3rd), Alvaro RDA (2nd), Sandro RDA (3rd).